Posted on October 7, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Going into Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, the Houston Texans appeared to be the definition of mediocre. They had a 2-2 record. The defense struggles one game but then does really well in the next. On the offensive side of the ball, they are even more inconsistent.
You can never tell if the Texans offense is going to work from one quarter to the next, let alone from one game to the next. But then they have a game like they did against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, and it becomes hard not to have a little hope.
Deshaun Watson and Will Fuller had insane, record-filled days against the Atlanta defense, leading the Texans to a blowout win, 53-32. Watson set a new career-high with 426 yards in the passing game. He also became the first player in NFL to throw for 400+ yards and five touchdowns with five incompletions or less (he was 28-33).
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With the Falcons intent on making sure DeAndre Hopkins didn’t beat them, the door was wide open for Will Fuller to have a career day—so he did. Watson looked for him 16 times, and he caught 14 for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
His 14 catches and three touchdowns tied the franchise single-game record.
“Playing with Hop, like I always say, is easy,” Fuller said after the game, via ESPN. “He gets a lot of coverages thrown his way, and I feel like that’s why they brought me here, to help him out. It took me a while, but I finally had this big game, so I’m just trying to help … out.”
But while the overall production in the game is encouraging, the way the game played out is still a little concerning. After starting the game with a three and out, the defense allowed the Falcons to score on three of the other four first-half drives the Falcons had.
Houston’s offense was able to do the same after going three and out on its opening drive. However, since they missed an extra point, the Falcons led at the half, 17-16. It wasn’t until the second half that things got a little crazy.
Watson and the Texans offense started the second half off with two touchdowns and a field goal on their first three drives. On the defensive side, they gave up just 22 yards and a single first down in the third quarter.
As a result, they had a 33-16 lead heading into the fourth quarter, yet the game was far from wrapped up. But with both teams trading touchdowns the rest of the way, the Falcons never really got close. In the waning seconds of the game, Tashaun Gipson returned an interception for another touchdown to make the final, 53-32, Houston.
Of the many stats the Texans accumulated throughout the game, the most impressive one was also their lowest one— the number of sacks the offensive line gave up.
Going forward, the team is still going to need to strive for consistency on both sides of the ball. But they may need to have another day like they did Sunday to get the win next week—they face the Kansas City Chiefs.